Sports Today: Positives abound in Cincinnati Bengals first weekend of training camp

The Cincinnati Bengals got going over the weekend down on the riverfront and…. so far, so good. 

On offense, the big story was thought to be Tyler Eifert and John Ross getting clean bills of health

Then everyone saw Giovani Bernard looking like, well, Giovani Bernard despite having ACL surgery less than eight months ago. 

RELATED: Bernard jokes he has two bionic knees

This is a huge development for a team with a very wide gap between ceiling and floor heading into the 2017 season. 

When everyone is there (recently injured Eifert, Ross, Bernard and A.J. Green) and playing up to their potential (Jeremy Hill, Joe Mixon, the young offensive tackles), this offense could be one of the best in the league. 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Like our Cincinnati Bengals News Now Facebook page

During offseason work, there were questions about the readiness of Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher (the aforementioned tackles), the availability of Ross, Eifert and Bernard and the progression of Hill (who hasn’t looked the same since his rookie season). 

Lots of potential — to fly high or fall flat. 

OBSERVATIONS from Day 3 of Bengals training camp

So, obviously it’s just a couple of days (not yet full contact), but just having everyone available isn’t something to take for granted… 

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention much around here, you might know I’m more worried about the defense. 

They had a poor first half of the season but finished on the upswing (Not having to play the Cowboys, Patriots and Redskins in the second half helped), and now coordinator Paul Guenther is hoping to continue that upward trajectory. 

RELATED: Bengals D determined to start quicker in 2017 

The Bengals added a handful of younger, faster players (though none in the first two rounds of the draft), and they will in essence add two first-round talents if Williams Jackson and Darqueze Dennard are healthy all year. 

RELATED: Dennard hoping to show what he can do at full strength

Will it be enough to push them back into the upper echelon of the league’s defenses? 

I doubt it, but we’ll see… 

In other news, high school football practice begins today

There’s nothing quite like getting back on the field after that long break, and of course we’ve got a lot of area teams with very high hopes for 2017 and a huge group of area players who are on the radars of Division I colleges. 

Antwuan Johnson, a linebacker from Wayne who played at Dunbar last season, became the latest area player to commit when he chose Bowling Green over the weekend. 

Johnson originally committed to Michigan before reopening his recruitment last year. 

New teammate Alex Reigelsperger is headed to Kentucky while Warriors receiver Blue Smith is set to announce his choice at the end of the month. 

Trotwood-Madison running back Ra’veion Hargrove is also headed to Bowling Green in 2018... 

The Cincinnati Reds are still playing. Not only that, they won a game yesterday. 

If you don’t believe me, I don’t blame you, but it was actually an interesting result since Luis Castillo out-dueled Dan Straily for the win. 

I have no idea what the Marlins were thinking when they agreed to send Castillo, a young fire-baller, to the Reds for Straily, the type of solid contributor that is much easier to find… 

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

HS Roundup 9/25: Area teams, golfers compete in D-III sectionals

Division III boys golf began sectional play on Tuesday, with several area teams and individuals making the cut. Middletown Christian and Cedarville each qualified from the Walden Ponds tournament. Evan Green shot an 86 for MC and Adam Wood led Cedarville with an 84. Austin Whitton of Cin. Christian and Amay Kejriwal and Alec Martin of Miami Valley...
HS Scores 9/25: Northmont golf wins FireBolt Cup

Boys Soccer Tuesday’s Results Alter 2, McNicholas 2 Beavercreek 3, Wayne 0 Bellbrook 2, Oakwood 0 Carroll 9, Badin 0 Dixie 4, Madison 2 Eaton 2, Valley View 2 Fairborn 3, West Carrollton 1 Fairmont 2, Springfield 0 Greenon 3, Stebbins 1 Northmont 3, Lebanon 0 Oak Hills 1, Middletown 0 Sidney 3, Piqua 1 Springboro 2, Miamisburg 1 Tippecanoe 8...
Dwayne Haskins excited for opportunity to compete ‘blow for blow’ with Penn State’s McSorley
Dwayne Haskins excited for opportunity to compete ‘blow for blow’ with Penn State’s McSorley

Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson had the quote of the night Tuesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Asked about the play of quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who has won the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award twice in his first four career starts, Wilson said, “He’s very accurate. If he went to the county fair, he’d win a...
Wittenberg’s new athletic facility, opening in 2019, has a catchy name
Wittenberg’s new athletic facility, opening in 2019, has a catchy name

The new $40 million indoor athletic facility rising on the campus of Wittenberg University will be known simply as  “The Steemer,” Wittenberg Athletic Director Gary Williams said Tuesday. “It’s just the Steemer,” Williams said. “That’s what Wes wanted to call it. It’s kind of catch.” Wes...
Wittenberg offering free admission to all athletic events
Wittenberg offering free admission to all athletic events

Wittenberg University will stop charging admission for regular-season football and men’s and women’s basketball games, athletic director Gary Williams said Tuesday. The athletic department already had stopped selling tickets for other sporting events. Fans got in free for a football game Saturday for the first time when Wittenberg played...
More Stories